July 2011 Archives

This whole lack of Internet at home thing is getting really old! Basically two whole weeks now except for a short while last weekend. My news feed reading is back to being completely out of control. Blog is two weeks out of date. I dread to think how much data I've used on my phone this month (actually probably not that much because Optus' reception is so crappy all over Canberra that I can't even get data half the time). Someone from Telstra will be out to look at the line tomorrow. Here's hoping they actually fix it...

Radio Silence

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Yeah so I've been offline for the better part of a week.  Our internet which has been really flakey lately (mostly during wet weather) finally died completely last Sunday (Monday?) night during all the wet weather.  Stu convinced Internode to come and have a look and sure enough, as suspected, our phone line is so noisy it's practically unusable.  So they've reported a fault with Telstra and we may or may not get it fixed soon.  Our internet actually started up again last night so I immediately took the opportunity to watch last week's Amazing Race (which only stay online for seven days :( ) and read some news feeds.

Other interesting stuff that's happened: the little brother and Conny visiting, skiing, and lots and lots of photo sorting (because what else am I going to do without the internet??).  They'll get their own blog posts.  One day.

Apple Pie!

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I spent about four hours tonight making this.  (Four hours from when I started to when I served it).

Yep.

But on a lighter note, it did actually turn out pretty impressively.  Nice filling, and a decent crust.  I thought when I had made it that the crust was far too powdery/flakey to work, but it actually turned out rather well.  And was able to flop the whole thing out without it disintegrating.

I'd say I'd happily make it again, but it was such a lot of work that I just don't know....  Maybe it'd be a bit easier with a food processor.. not so much fiddling with the flour and butter..

Apple Pie

Which is worse?

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Not sure which is worse..

1) Having to go into work for the second Saturday in a row, but not sure of the time, and so not having the time to do the things I wanted to this Saturday

2) Arriving at work only to be told I wasn't needed and could go home again

!!!!

Only upside is that I'll get paid three hours overtime for turning up and sitting around doing nothing for half an hour.

Resisted temptation to call people Bill Lumbergh.
Deathly Hallows
Went and saw Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Part 2) tonight.

Quite enjoyed it actually.  

For the most part it was very dark, with a few little bits of humour to lighten it slightly.  (Which is always a good reason for seeing a movie in 2D - you don't make the dark scenes even darker by wearing sunglasses!).  It's amazing how different all of the movies have been.

Some gorgeous special effects.  And I think I saw the bit of the set that I saw last year in the back lot of Leavesdon Studios.

Not much in the way of character development outside the few main characters.  Most of the other characters barely get a line or two each.  Neville and McGonagall had pretty cool roles though.

A few differences to the book, but pretty happy with the interpretation (although maybe if I'd only just read the book I'd think differently heh).

It finished up the same as the book - that is skipping ahead and seeing where a few people ended up, but not answering any of the questions of what the heck happened to everyone.  Interviews I read online when the book came out filled in some of the gaps, but might have been nice to include some of them in the movie.

So yeah, pretty good all up.  We got the DVD of part 1 tonight too, might have to watch it soon :)

Booked

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Two nights ago I attempted to get Harry Potter tickets. But people kept complaining about various things (have I ever mentioned how much I hate trying to organise people) so I spat the dummy and gave up.  But since then, Dendy have opened up tickets for a series of 2D sessions.  So I got some for this Friday. 

!!

And surprisingly easy, got decent seats, and the booking just worked.

Best experience I've ever had with the Dendy!
Yesterday was a lame all day at work :(  Load testing, finding problems, fixing problems, finding more problems, fixing more problems, finding yet more problems, but all having had enough to not properly deal with them.  Blah.  The money's good, but it kills me not getting a full weekend :(

This morning was up at a very uncivilised hour (that is a shock coming from me ;) ) to get to Scope at Mt Stromlo by 9am.  Coppins Crossing road was closed for a cycling event, but we didn't see the sign til it was too late, and ended up having to continue 5km out of the way before we could turn around legally, and then back again to go the other way.  Epic grunt.  So ended up arriving ten minutes late.  And nearly got blown off the mountain by the wind - it was insane!!

Mt Stromlo and rainbow

So we went to Scope to meet up with Fiona (aka @phonakins aka The Little Lioness) and Rish, Lisa (aka @bakebikeblog aka Bake Bike Blog) and Chris (aka @chrispycon), who turned out to be an ex colleague of Stu's from Queensland!  It was a great little twitter/blogger meetup.  We talked about various topics, mostly things like Canberra life, food, travel etc.  

Lisa and Fiona
Chrispycon

I had their eggs benedict which was pretty decent
Scope's Eggs Benedict

Scope has a fantastic location, it'd be nice to go back in weather that was good enough to sit outside and enjoy the view.  And plenty of gluten-free options which made Fiona and Lisa very happy :)Scope interior

Scope interior
Cotter Dam from Mt Stromlo

Popped into town to pick up Stu's car which had been there since Friday night, then did our food shopping, then came home.

Having a busy afternoon catching up with stuff.

I separated the jigsaw into its six identical 999-piece sections and stacked them up so they don't take up as much space, to give me room for other things I want to do.

Jigsaw split up
Jigsaw stacked
Jigsaw stacked
Planning a roast dinner tonight, and hopefully an early night!
Crazy day today.  Thought it would be a nice quiet day with just me and Neil in the office.  But then we got the trump card that said drop everything and build a couple of web servers.  Today. 

hrmmmm.

So when I got everything done that I could do, and it was 5pm, we declared it beer o'clock and had a couple of not so quiet ones at Ha Ha.  After that, went and joined the sweetie who was going to drinks with his work mates and had another couple.

So a very pleasant evening in the end, but alas I have to go to work tomorrow :(

Kat

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Went to the Dumpling Inn tonight with the sweetie and Kat, a colleague of his, a lovely geeky girl who we hope to see more of soon :)
Thursday

Managed to squeeze in one beer at drinks before being picked up.  Made it to the airport with plenty of time to spare.  Had already checked in, so just needed to drop off bags, but no automatic machines that I could see at Canberra airport for plebs, so went to counters to drop off bags.  Went into the Qantas lounge for drinks and snackages.

Qantas club snacks

Then Stu got a notification on his phone that flight was delayed.  Oh well, more snackages.  And delayed again.  Flight was nearly two hours late by the time we got away :(  Got a beef stroganoff of some description for dinner on the plane.

People please, stand back from the luggage carousels so other people can see the bags going past and actually get to the carousel to pick up their bag!!  Sheesh!!

Rude people

Because the flight was so late, the car rental place was closed.  So had to walk all the way back into the terminal to pick up the keys, and back out again.  At that time of night it wasn't much fun.  And their computer system was down as well.  Hurrah.

Finally got the car and headed off, thinking we'd use the toll roads and get there a bit quicker.  

Big mistake.

Traffic jam on the M1

Night roadworks on the M1 meant we were stopped for long periods of time in several places along the motorway :(:( 

We had a hybrid car, so the stop start traffic was kinda quiet and fuel efficient.
Hybrid
Finally arrived - very very late - but still ended up talking til around 2am before going to bed.

Friday

Mog

Latish on Friday morning we headed down to Springfield Lake for brunch.  Although someone misheard it as Bugger Lake and so that's what it then became known as :)

I had a reasonable caesar salad, although all the pieces were in separate sections..

Caesar salad at Springfield Lake

Boat racing on Springfield Lake

Dropped into the Springfield aquarium and got a new heater for the aquarium, and Chay got a good deal on some plants on logs and a big sunken ship.

Fish tank

Headed out again after setting up the fish tank and went to a few different aquariums looking for fish.  We ended up getting eight ghost mollies, six male guppies, four sucking catfish and a betta.

Ghost mollies

Dinner was lots of Pizza Capers pizza.  Then we played Buzz (they have some different Buzzes we don't have, must go looking for them) and SingStar.  

Saturday

Saturday morning is garage sale time!  Mainly looking for books for Chay's business, but picked up a few other bits and pieces as well.  Got some sushi for lunch and saw Batman on a segway!!  

Batman Segway

Headed back out again in the afternoon and ended up getting some female guppies, and another betta for K (who had picked up a small fish tank at one of the garage sales that morning).

K's fish

K playing her saxophone

Dinner was chicken pies with mac&cheese - yumm!

After dinner we attempted to watch Seven Samurai but I was restless (so was Chay, who couldn't actually sit there) and then David had to go drop some stuff off at Chay's mum's, so we gave up.  Sorry sweetie, I'll watch it with you one day..

So played Buzz again, and more Singstar.  Not as late that night, and I set some pretty insane scores (9720 for Where the Wild Roses Grow, 9727 for Come As You Are and a whopping 9837 for Heaven is a Place on Earth!!).  Helped being mostly sober I suppose heh.

Singstar score

Sunday

Headed out to our favourite Brisbane cafe for brunch - Ascot Provisions.  Driving around I was actually surprised how everything had recovered from the floods.  In a lot of places you'd really never know there'd ever been any flooding there at all.  Amazing stuff.

I had the big breakfast.  They're still doing the mini cheese kranskys (I preferred the bigger ones they used to do).

Ascot Provisions big breakfast

Saw some interesting things on the drive back.

A staircase to nowhere..
Staircase to nowhere

Brisbane CBD from the Story Bridge
Brisbane CBD

And a human aquarium.  This is a swimming pool at the top of a building opposite the Gabba, with windows so you can see into it!
Human aquarium

Dropped into Hardly Normal to look for Buzz games (didn't find any, but did find this sign)
Harvey Norman sign

Did some more shopping at Orion.  Found a couple of Buzzes.  Also did some food shopping for dinner.  

Jungle cat

Dinner was a super awesome roast pork and veggies with an amazing apple sauce.  I swear David can cook about ten times as well as I can :/  I did my (fake) violet crumble cheesecake for dessert.

Night three of Buzz (the new ones) and Singstar.

Monday

Much of Monday was just chilling out, watching Big Bang Theory, reading news feeds etc.  Did a Bunnings run to get some new runners for the front sliding door.  Then packed up and left.

Again made it to the airport with plenty of time to spare.  Which was a good thing, because all the new works around the airport terminals, and a truck going down the wrong way towards us in the lane we were trying to drive down, meant we missed the sign to the rental car return (because the truck was in the way).  Second loop around we went to a different part of the parking (luckily didn't get charged for the long stay carpark).  But we did see the sign this time (after it was too late to change).  Third time around we finally got it right.  Lame lame lame.  Returned the car ok and used the electronic bag drop gizmos for the first time.  Took a lot longer than handing them to a human, but I imagine it'd get a lot quicker once you got the hang of what you need to do.

So the plane was delayed.  Again.  What else is new.  We had an hour wait in Sydney on the way back, but as the plane got later and later it was looking like we wouldn't make the connection.  So they got us onto the preceeding flight, but even that was going to be cutting it fine.  They brought out a beef teriyaki for dinner.  We got a lovely view of Sydney as we flew past it, then flew waaaayyyyyy out to sea before finally swinging around and landing from the south on 34R.  We finally arrived at the terminal pretty much as the other plane was due to leave. Fortunately it was only four gates down, and several other people were transferring too.  So we raced down and got on the plane at the very last minute - they closed the doors a couple of minutes later.  I was thinking there was no way our bags possibly could have made it..

Flight to Canberra was pretty quick and uneventful.  Took off from Sydney to the west and straight on down, approaching Canberra from the south in very windy conditions.  But the landing was a lot smoother than I thought it would be, considering how much we were getting buffeted.

Had to walk out onto the tarmac (love it when that happens :) ) - where we'd just gone from beautiful t-shirt weather to suddenly cold and wet and windy.  Craziness.

Went inside and then waited to see if our bags had made it.  Which, miracle of miracles, they did!!  Was very impressed with Qantas making *that* happen :)

So got home very late and pretty much just crashed.

Had a lovely few days.  A nice relaxing weekend, good company, fun times and even read plenty of my very behind news feeds.

Same time next year guys :)
Just got home from a long weekend in sunny, warm Queensland visiting Chay and David.  Our weekend consisted largely of delays, talking, shopping, eating, drinking, singing, buzzing and watching tv.  

I think I need a weekend to recover from my weekend :)
Kazza's "Boring Life Of a Geek" aka BLOG

IT geek, originally from Sydney, moved to Canberra in 2007. Married to "the sweetie", aka Stu. Prolific photographer, Lego junkie and tropical fish keeper.

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